Reader Q: Dealing with Hard Water

I have recently decided to go on a hair journey. I’m so obsessed with my hair but I want it healthier. Here’s the problem, I’m a freshman in college and I live in the dorm. I’m almost positive that I am bathing and washing my hair in hard water. What are some shampoos or conditioners work for that? Have you ever used the hard water shampoo by ion?

As a bit of background, hard water is water that contains significant quantities of dissolved minerals, such as copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, lead, and silica. Because hair has a negative charge, the positively charged minerals bind to hair and can cause dryness, can weigh down your hair, can cause breakage, dry and itchy scalp, and cause hair to appear dull.

I have hard water in my apartment so I’m dealing with the same thing you are. I use Redken Hair Cleansing Cream Shampoo to aid in removing hard water minerals and product build-up. I like this shampoo because it does it’s supposed to do and doen’t leave my hair feeling stripped or matted.

You can also trying doing an apple-cider ginger (ACV) rinse as the last step when you wash your hair to counteract the higher pH level of hard water. Roux Porosity Control also lowers hair’s pH level. Chelating shampoos, like Redken I mentioned above, contain chelating agents (like Disodium EDTA, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate) that help remove minerals found in water. Here are some other chelating shampoos you might find helpful:

Using a water softener or filter is likely the most efficient route, but since you’re living in a dorm an ACV rinse or a chelating shampoo is the best route for you.

Thanks for your question!


  1. Wow, I never even considered buying another shampoo, for I will be staying in a dorm this coming Fall semester. I'm sure the water will be horrific toward my hair. D; I've never heard of "Chelateing" and I'm glad I clicked on your blog. I was actually going to play around with a shampoo until I found one that I was satisfied with to continue usage into my regimen. Now I have to set forth and find a mineral eradicator. This isn't a problem, but just to think I never would've known if I never opened my eyes to healthier hair (and actually clicking this blog.)

    Thanks Jenijen! You've actually helped one more person, I am certainly going to try one or some of the brands you mentioned. Keep up the great work, beauty and have a blessed day.

    1. I'm just glad you helped me 🙂 and thanks so much for following me 🙂

  2. Great products listed. I use ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo to clarify/ chelate. It was the only shampoo that deeply cleansed my hair as stated and didn't leave it tangled. It's hard to find a clarifying/chelating poo that won't completely strip your hair.

    1. Author

      I've used the ORS Creamy Aloe to neutralize. I agree, doesn't leave my hair feeling stripped at all.

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